Barb Heki, a former staffer with Michele Bachmann’s former presidential campaign in Iowa, is now suing Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the Bachmann for President campaign, former Bachmann staffer and/or consultants Keith Nahigian, Guy Short, Brett O’Donnell, Rebecca Donatelli, and Eric Woolson. Nahigian Strategies, LLC, C&M Strategies, Inc., O’Donnell & Associates, Ltd., Campaign Services, Inc., and The Concept Works, Inc. have also been named in the lawsuit.
This lawsuit is based on the incident last fall when the Bachmann campaign uploaded the NICHE (Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators) email list into their campaign database without permission. At that time The Iowa Republican noted that Barb Heki was a NICHE board member and was on staff with the Bachmann campaign.
In the lawsuit, Heki accuses State Senator Kent Sorenson (R-Indianola), who was then the Iowa Chair for the Bachman for President campaign, of stealing the NICHE email list from her private computer from her private office in the Bachmann campaign headquarters in Iowa. Prior to this Heki said she informed the campaign of her inability to share the NICHE database or release any information about the database to the campaign. The suit also alleges that the computer contained Heki’s personal confidential information including personal passwords and bank account information.
Heki in the lawsuit alleges that the defendants named in the suit knew of the theft of the list, and at the direction of some or all of the defendants two emails were sent out to the misappropriated full NICHE database around November 10, 2011. Heki then alleges that the Bachmann campaign concealed the alleged theft of the list by Kent Sorenson.
Heki contends that some or all of the defendants inferred to the media and the public that Barb Heki had misappropriated and missued the email list from NICHE. On November 29, 2011, Barb Heki and her husband Richard were removed from the NICHE board by the other members of the Board of Directors. The Heki’s claim that this also led to their removal from another national organization of homeschooling leaders and that they “have been isolated and expelled from their professional, social, political, and spiritual lives and careers in Iowa and nationally” due to the alleged cover up by the Bachmann campaign.
They are charging the defendants listed with trespass, conversion, computer trespass, misappropriation of trade secrets, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, conspiracy, and concerted action.
Barb Heki was not able to speak to me about specifics of the case or damages they will be seeking. She requested that I speak with her attorney, Daniel D. Dykstra with the Heidman Law Firm, LLP in Sioux City Iowa. The suit was filed in the Iowa District Court of Polk County. Heki did assure me that they had solid evidence and eyewitness testimony or they would have never filed the lawsuit.
You can read the court filing below:
Picture by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com.